Saturday, March 17, 2007

New York and the NCAA Tournament

It seems that the time to blog comes and goes like the tide (and more practically, like the warm weather around here). While the time was easy to come by over the winter holidays, sitting down for a few minutes on the computer when it is not related to work, is very rare. Time has been so limited lately that trying to pull together my brackets for the NCAA tournament and my player list for the NCAA fantasy draft was tough... and those of you who know me really well, I always make the time for the NCAA tournament.

So what has happened around here? For Valentine's Day, I gave Lauren a ticket to The Lion King on Broadway and a hotel room in the theatre district. So, we left Friday afternoon and drove up 95 with all of the other thousands that had the same idea. Needless to say, a 4.5 hour drive took over 6 hours. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. I feel the same frustration sitting in traffic that I do when sitting on a runway waiting to take off. Helpless.

Anyway, the show was great, and we were lucky to catch the city on a nice weekend in March. The weather was in the upper 50's and sunny which in retrospect is pretty darn lucky considering the weather that moved up the East Coast this weekend. While up there, we also had a chance to catch up with some friends who have a place on the Upper West Side and get a nice tour. Of course, while we were up there, we lost an hour of sleep due to the earlier implementation of Daylight Savings Time (which I think I still have not recovered from). Fortunately, the ride home was much less eventful as we left the city at 2:45 and made it home by 7.

On the note of Daylight Savings Time, I'm still puzzled as to why there was such a mad scramble to implement the DST patch across the country. The law was passed in August of 2005 yet Microsoft was releasing the final patches for Outlook a week before the change in time. Do you remember the paranoia around Y2K that ended up amounting to nothing? I want to know how much productivity was affected by this DST change. I know personally, my BlackBerry did not changeover when it was supposed to, and when I manually changed it, all of my meetings and meeting requests sent from the BlackBerry were an hour off. It took me to manually download the patch from my BlackBerry to get it right. And my brother brings up a good point... what is going to happen when the old DST date comes and goes? How will we fare?

On to my favorite weekend of the year, the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament. Over the past four years, I've either been in Vegas or off from work to fully enjoy all four days of the opening two rounds. This year, I did what supposedly every other college basketball fan does, check the scores throughout the day and leave the office as close to 5 as possible. That being said, there was an interesting article on that talks about the myth of lost productivity due to the NCAA tournament. Some consulting company claimed that over $3.8B worth of productivity is lost each year due to workers checking scores or following games online. Speaking as someone who does keep an eye on the games, it is no more distracting to keep an eye on a score as it is to have people come up to you all day long to BS or ask you questions. In fact, I felt like I was able to get more done because I had my headphones on and people would not bother coming up to talk to me.

Anyway, the first two days of the tournament pretty much held to "chalk" as they say with most of the bigger teams winning as they were supposed to. The only "surprise" (in quotes because I picked it), was VCU beating Duke. The second round has been exciting, but again, not too many surprises unless you count Maryland losing to Butler as a surprise. The Terps looked sloppy yet again and consequently lost in the 2nd round. However, currently my Hoyas (I say my because I have always liked them, no matter what anyone else says) are struggling with a pretty good BC team.

I would like nothing more for the ACC teams to all get knocked out and the Big Ten to rack up as many wins as they can since it was downplayed as a weaker conference this year. I guess we'll see just how weak it was during the UNC-MSU game tonight.

More later...

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